Buying a Used Baseball or Softball Bat
Here's a brief checklist that our trade-in team uses to determine whether a used baseball or softball bat is worth buying:
✅ Does it meet current certification? Terms to keep in mind: BBCOR, USSSA, USA, ASA.
✅ Check to make sure the knob is not loose or missing.
✅ Check for a grip – the grip is easily replaceable, but it will cost about $13.
✅ Check the handle to make sure it is not bent.
✅ Check the barrel for dents or cracks. Note that there's a big difference between cracks in the outer wallet of the bat and so-called "spidering", which only affects the paint layer. (More on that below!)
✅ Check the endcap. Make sure it is in place and not cracked or loose. If it is missing or cracked or loose do not buy the bat – it can be replaced, but it will only be legal in USSSA play if the manufacturer does it. And endcaps may be the most important part of the bat, with implications for the sound, trampoline effect, and swing weight.
✅ If you notice spidering on a composite bat, that's fine! Spidering occurs with some bats showing that it is “hot” and broken in. With bats, there's a big difference between cracking in the paint layer (spidering) and cracking beneath the paint layer, which would suggest that the bat is at the end of its life.